Alight LLC announced the immediate availability of Alight Enterprise 5 featuring the industry’s most flexible continuous planning solution that enables companies to develop dynamic rolling forecasts to maintain competitiveness in the face of economic turmoil. With robust scenario analysis, full actuals integration, and multi-user collaboration, Alight Enterprise 5 provides unprecedented visibility and granularity in a driver-based modeling solution for a full spectrum of planning activities including budgets, forecasts, long-range plans, and project plans.
“Today’s challenging economy requires an agile solution for more immediate and responsive planning than the annual budgeting process with spreadsheets has traditionally afforded,” said Rand Heer, CEO and founder of Alight. “Being able to quickly roll over budgets and forecasts to new forecast versions gives companies the edge they need to keep abreast of competitive challenges and changing economic conditions.”
Alight Enterprise 5 goes beyond traditional budgeting and reporting to provide a fully integrated, dynamic and event-driven continuous planning solution that enables real-time forecasting, consensus and collaboration. With easy to update forecasts and plans, companies can make more insightful and educated decisions faster to capitalize on opportunities or mitigate risks. Robust Scenario Analysis for Dynamic “What If” Forecasting Unlike traditional budgeting software that focuses on version control, Alight Enterprise 5 permits true “what if” scenario analysis. The full scenario analysis toolkit in Alight Enterprise 5 includes:
• The ability to create multiple scenarios in real time by copying any existing scenario;
• Side-by-side comparisons of scenarios with variance columns for underlying units and rates, as well as financial amounts;
• Side-by-side comparisons of scenarios that identify underlying volume and rate financial impacts;
• Maintenance of structures, such as adding line items, across scenarios in a single operation;
• Updating input assumptions across multiple scenarios in a single operation;
• Incorporating go/no go decisions and event timing into scenarios using triggers;
• Sensitivity analysis to identify the most important and actionable assumptions in a plan; and
• Goal seek operations to analyze the financial impact of achieving defined milestones.
“Virtually everyone is wanting to do rolling forecasts, whether they have systems in place or not. Underlying this demand is confirmation that last year’s budgets are useless now and businesses need dynamic forecasting to keep up with rapid changes in the economy and in their own organization,” Heer said. “If you can’t predict the future – and none of us are doing a very good job of that – then thinking through alternative scenarios becomes critical. Alight Enterprise 5 incorporates the most robust feature set of any planning package for doing such ‘what if’ scenario analysis.”
In addition, Alight Enterprise 5 allows for unprecedented collaboration, transforming the planning tool into a powerful presentation tool for real-time Q&A and scenario planning in board rooms and among senior managers during operations reviews. “With user-friendly dashboards that allow changing input assumptions on-the-fly, Alight puts all the relevant data right at your fingertips,” Heer said. “CFOs and planning managers are in a much better position to answer questions on the spot instead of saying ‘I’ll get back to you on that.’ With Alight’s scenario analysis, you’ll make better decisions faster.”
“With Alight, we are able to perform true forecasting,” said Judith Van Norman, Chief Financial Officer of Down East Enterprise, a multi-media publishing company for regional lifestyle and special interests. “We incorporate actuals trends into our projections and evaluate alternate scenarios in near real time. Most importantly, we have visibility into the numbers and analyses that let us change things before it is too late. You might say that we can see the future!”
“Alight’s well structured scenario tools and built in driver-based planning architectures make it a great tool for doing rolling forecasts,” said Steve Player, Director of the Beyond Budgeting Round Table for North America and co-founder of Beyond EPS Advisors. “Finance is transforming itself to respond to this volatile economy. It’s more important than ever for finance executives to think outside the box and make their organizations more adaptable to market conditions. Alight Enterprise 5 enables organizations to become more agile and adopt a more continuous planning process.”
Alight Enterprise 5 is sold as a perpetual license based on number of users. A fifteen-user system is priced at $25,000. Alight Desktop 5, a standalone single-user system is priced at $7,200. The Alight Support Package, which is included in the initial purchase price, includes technical support, product updates and access to the Alight KnowledgeBase. Alight Online Bootcamp Training for finance staff, planning managers and analysts is $1,000 for an unlimited number of users. Customers typically request 30 to 50 hours of modeling and implementation support from the Alight Services staff. The average implementation timeframe is two to six weeks.
For a live demo of Alight Enterprise 5, or for more information about Alight’s suite of full-spectrum planning solutions, visit www.AlightPlanning.com.